Nikolai Petrovich Anikin
Salt Lake City
Nikolai Petrovich Anikin was not half as intimidating as I had imagined he would be. No, this surely was not the ex-Soviet coach my father had shipped me out to meet.
But Nikolai he was, Petrovich and all. He invited me inside and sat down on the couch, patting the blanket next to him to get me to sit next to him. I was so nervous in his presence.
"You are young," he began in his Russian-style English. "If you like to try for Olympic Games, I guess you will be able to do this. Nagano Olympics too soon for you, but for 2002 in Salt Lake City, you could be ready."